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Mustafa
04-18-2012, 05:28 PM
I hear people who write, and haven't been published talking about how being a 'starving artist' is just one of the trials all "artists" must endure. I never really thought of writers as artists and when people suggest it, I always find it a bit pretentious.

Is that just me? Do you guys think authors are artists?

RKLipman
04-18-2012, 05:40 PM
I absolutely think that writers are artists - there's a reason an MFA is a Master of Fine Arts, after all.

However, the minute I find out someone is the type to believe that You Must Suffer For Your Art (Or You're A Sell-Out And Capitalist Pig), I'm running in the other direction.

gothicangel
04-18-2012, 05:41 PM
I hear people who write, and haven't been published talking about how being a 'starving artist' is just one of the trials all "artists" must endure. I never really thought of writers as artists and when people suggest it, I always find it a bit pretentious.

Is that just me? Do you guys think authors are artists?

Well, anyone who is willing to starve in the name of art, needs to see a psychologist and fast.

But yes, literature is an category of the arts, just like muscians, philosophers, photographers and painters.

HoneyBadger
04-18-2012, 05:45 PM
Yes, of course authors are artists.

readitnweep
04-18-2012, 05:46 PM
I'm surprised that anyone would think creative writing wouldn't be considered an art form.

Toothpaste
04-18-2012, 05:47 PM
Of course we're artists. As gothic says, literature belongs in the arts category. Now, what artist means to you is another thing. "Artist" isn't inherently pretentious or anything. It's just that some use the term that way. The word itself is quite innocuous.

But yes, yes we are. Does it make us superior to others? No. Does it make our griefs more painful than the griefs of others? Uh no. It just means we are pursuing a particular path.

heza
04-18-2012, 05:49 PM
Maybe part of the confusion is that we often refer to writing as a "craft," so some assume we're a type of crafter.

Alessandra Kelley
04-18-2012, 05:50 PM
Coincidentally, I am an artist but not a writer. So I can unequivocally say:

Yes. Yes, writers are artists. You take ideas and craft them into things out in the world to convey meaning to other people. That's what artists do.

Starving in a garret, now, that's a piece of romantic nonsense that's a disservice to artists everywhere. Don't get me started on art schools and their lack of practical business courses, or the cultural prejudices that try to stuff artists into an unfunded, free labor ghetto. Being a starving artist is not a trial to endure, it's a consequence of deliberate government policy choices and stupid romanticism.

sassandgroove
04-18-2012, 05:50 PM
yes

Alessandra Kelley
04-18-2012, 05:52 PM
Maybe part of the confusion is that we often refer to writing as a "craft," so some assume we're a type of crafter.

Craft is the physical processes required to make art. Crafters may or may not be artists -- I think more are than people realize, even the crafters themselves -- but all artists are crafters.

Discord
04-18-2012, 06:02 PM
Starving in a garret, now, that's a piece of romantic nonsense that's a disservice to artists everywhere.

With you there. It's like, just because artists enjoy what they do they get taken advantage of (i.e. expected to work for free) Then the fact that they don't get paid much (or at all) gets turned around and used as a badge of honour when what it really is is the devaluation of their work.

I love art. I love artists. I think the work we do is important for everybody. That's why I think we deserve a decent wage (nothing extravagant, but decent). If someone pegs me as a sell-out because of that, I would advise them to grow up.

heza
04-18-2012, 06:06 PM
Craft is the physical processes required to make art. Crafters may or may not be artists -- I think more are than people realize, even the crafters themselves -- but all artists are crafters.

Didn't say crafters can't make art or that artists never craft. I was suggesting that, as a group, we use language about our work that brings up associations with applied arts more often than fine arts.

veinglory
04-18-2012, 06:08 PM
The one's that are, are. The ones that aren't, aren't. And many sometimes are and sometimes aren't. Not everything I write is art.

Alessandra Kelley
04-18-2012, 06:14 PM
With you there. It's like, just because artists enjoy what they do they get taken advantage of (i.e. expected to work for free) Then the fact that they don't get paid much (or at all) gets turned around and used as a badge of honour when what it really is is the devaluation of their work.

I love art. I love artists. I think the work we do is important for everybody. That's why I think we deserve a decent wage (nothing extravagant, but decent). If someone pegs me as a sell-out because of that, I would advise them to grow up.

Personal trainers average $25 per hour. (http://www.acefitness.org/salary/) I think artists should not be expected to work for less than that.

Artists enjoy what they do, sure, but in exactly the same way as anybody with a calling or profession: bankers, ministers, homebuilders, shopkeepers, architects, hairdressers, pilots. It's not like people get paid more for doing work they hate, so why do people argue that artist should be paid less for doing something they love? (answer: to see if they can get away with it)

Artists are taught a sort of unworldly deliberate na´vetÚ that leaves them prey to exploitation. That may be ok if art is not your profession, just something you do on the side because it's cool, but it's no way to run a small business.

Alessandra Kelley
04-18-2012, 06:16 PM
Didn't say crafters can't make art or that artists never craft. I was suggesting that, as a group, we use language about our work that brings up associations with applied arts more often than fine arts.

I'm saying they're the same thing. Art and craft are not separate entities.

You can't make art without craft (although you can craft things without art).

And the separation between applied arts and fine arts is an artificial and relatively recent one.

Discord
04-18-2012, 06:18 PM
Craft.... Art....

Eh... semantics. You may be right, but the discussion makes my eyelid twitch.

A person that restores antique furniture can be called a craftsman/woman because they practice an artful, learned skill. Are they an artist? Well, they are making something beautiful, applying their creativity to it. Does that count?

A chef that invents delicious and aesthetically pleasing meals? A photographer that takes pictures of objects he/she didn't create? A stand-up comedian? An interior decorator? An architect?

I honestly don't know which word applies where. But the idea of dividing people that make creative things into two categories makes me a bit uncomfortable.

I once had a class debate where the consensus was that "craftspeople" create things of utilitarian value that are also beautiful, while "artists" create things simply to be beautiful. That seems somewhat problematic to me in other ways. I dunno.

Filigree
04-18-2012, 06:30 PM
I did a thesis on that very divide, about 20 some years ago. The 'fine' arts divided from 'craft' only a few hundred years ago. It's why I refer to myself as an artisan, and rarely an artist. For me, the physical and material skills are just as important as the nebulous subjectivity of 'inspiration'.

And as Alessandra points out, that whole 'artists must suffer for their art' is a crock of crap. Poverty and stress don't help artists mature or refine, quite the opposite.

I could write another thesis on the ways creativity counts in our modern world, or the billion-dollar-industry reintroducing timid adults to the joys of making stuff, but I won't. I charge between $15 and $55 per hour for my artistic skills. I've been at my chosen obsessions for 25 years, and in one case, for 32 years. I have work in museums, university special collections, corporate collections, published coffee-table art books, and many private collections.

I'm still an 'emerging artist', in that I'm not that well known, and I'll always be learning my craft. I'm also a writer, just now beginning to sell my mms. I don't find much difference in the disciplines.

KelsNotChels
04-18-2012, 06:31 PM
I'm not sure about every writer, but I know that I consider myself to be an artist. I'm a singer/songwriter/actress/writer so it's easier to consider my writing to be just another form of creative expression.

Perhaps if I only wrote, I would consider it to be another facet of creation, but as I create in other ways, it all mixes together, and feels very similar to me.

Devil Ledbetter
04-18-2012, 06:37 PM
Writers are artists. There is nothing inherently pretentious about being an artist, nor is there any requirement to starve for the sake of art.

Susan Littlefield
04-18-2012, 06:47 PM
The one's that are, are. The ones that aren't, aren't. And many sometimes are and sometimes aren't. Not everything I write is art.

Love this. :)

Alessandra Kelley
04-18-2012, 06:47 PM
I once had a class debate where the consensus was that "craftspeople" create things of utilitarian value, that are also beautiful, while "artists" create things simply to be beautiful. That seems somewhat problematic to me in other ways. I dunno.

(First off, I recognize that you're not endorsing that argument. I'm not arguing with you, but it.)

I've heard that argument, and it drives me buggy. It derives from the nineteenth century attempts to rank a superiority scale of "pure" art. Before that fine art and crafts were not considered separate (i.e. oil painting was related to coach and wagon painting; many artists also made furniture and housewares and stage sets and weapons and garments and so forth)

It's insulting to artists and breathtakingly dismissive of the arts, because it implies that art has no meaning or purpose except beauty and that there is no utility to beauty, both of which are utterly false. It would have astonished the artists and audiences of Buddhist mandalas, for example.

Never mind that there are plenty of examples of art that are not beautiful because they are deliberately using ugliness for powerful effect. The uselessness implied in that definition is part of why art is seen as unimportant and not worth paying for.

In fact, I can see how both sides of that argument lead to miserly stinting of both craftspeople and artists. In both cases people can get highly useful and beautiful things for cheap, because of how they have defined them.

Discord
04-18-2012, 06:49 PM
Poverty and stress don't help artists mature or refine, quite the opposite.


The only circumstance in which I would disagree with you is if you are writing about poverty and stress. Obviously, if you want to tackle these subjects, you are better off having lived them than just speculating on them. If you've been living a middle-class life, then you're better equipped writing from a middle class perspective. Both perspectives are art, though.

Okay, seriously now, I need to stop procrastinating on AW and actually do some writing. See you guys in a few hours, when my self-discipline melts.

StoryG27
04-18-2012, 06:59 PM
This:

The one's that are, are. The ones that aren't, aren't. And many sometimes are and sometimes aren't. Not everything I write is art.
and this:

Writers are artists. There is nothing inherently pretentious about being an artist, nor is there any requirement to starve for the sake of art.
These were my first thoughts after reading the OP.



As far as having perspective or real life experience to write a certain POV (poor to write a poor character, i.e.), I don't believe it. I think many writers are naturally observant and inquisitive and have the ability if not desire to imagine themselves in a different life with different circumstances. This is just IMHO, of course.

Mustafa
04-18-2012, 07:01 PM
I guess I just think that the term "artist" is a bit overused. If someone drew a series of stick men and declared himself an artist, I'd think him insane. Same goes for someone who writes something of 'stick-man' quality.

I dunno. I guess I'm missing the boat on this one. Thanks for the input guys.

heza
04-18-2012, 07:04 PM
I'm saying they're the same thing. Art and craft are not separate entities.


Great. Now, what is it you think I'm saying... because this feels like one of the more pointless arguments I've been in.

Mustafa
04-18-2012, 07:07 PM
Don't you need an authority to declare one an artist? Like some kind of professional standard?

Alessandra Kelley
04-18-2012, 07:09 PM
Great. Now, what is it you think I'm saying... because this feels like one of the more pointless arguments I've been in.

I apologize. I was being way oversensitive about the distinction between art and craft. You, and indeed everyone in this thread, have been quite reasonable.

authorilinca
04-18-2012, 07:12 PM
I've always considered writing an art. It's something you see in your head and bring out in a real form. Like painting. A painter sees something in his/her head and brings it to life!
As for those "starving," I do hope anyone on the path of writing has something to fall back on :)

Alitriona
04-18-2012, 07:13 PM
Yes, I'm an artist sometimes. When I write a manuscript I craft stories from words.

Not every finished product I create is worthy art in my opinion, but it is art.

Richard White
04-18-2012, 07:15 PM
I'm currently pursuing my Masters of English with an eye at teaching college as an Adjunct Faculty instructor (non-tenure track).

One of the classes I've proposed to a couple of schools here is "The Business of Writing". I've suggested teaching writers about contracts, agents, publishing, avoiding scams, etc. and supplimenting my instruction with guest lecturers (agents, publishers, editors, etc. - both print and electronic).

My suggestions have been well-received and hopefully I'll get the chance to do this once I finish my degree.



Coincidentally, I am an artist but not a writer. So I can unequivocally say:

Yes. Yes, writers are artists. You take ideas and craft them into things out in the world to convey meaning to other people. That's what artists do.

Starving in a garret, now, that's a piece of romantic nonsense that's a disservice to artists everywhere. Don't get me started on art schools and their lack of practical business courses, or the cultural prejudices that try to stuff artists into an unfunded, free labor ghetto. Being a starving artist is not a trial to endure, it's a consequence of deliberate government policy choices and stupid romanticism.

Alessandra Kelley
04-18-2012, 07:16 PM
Don't you need an authority to declare one an artist? Like some kind of professional standard?

*Cough* Is that a joke?

There isn't really. You don't get certified "Artist" the way you do "Realtor."

Another Absolute Writer started a thread about the authority to declare artists in Costa Rica, (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=241623) which sounds like a Very Bad Thing (I wasn't able to confirm the story).

RichardGarfinkle
04-18-2012, 07:17 PM
First of all. Yes, we're artists, we take inspiration and craft things from it to show to others, thus giving them something to add to their own thinking. That's art.

This points toward four things artists of all kinds need to work on:
1. Cultivate inspiration which mostly involves keeping eyes and ears open, and pursuing interests in life that set our own minds afire with things worth making and sharing.

2. Developing and honing the craft necessary to make the inspiration into reality.

3. Developing an awareness of audience so that one can figure out what forms our inspirations should take in order to give them to the audience.

4. Not falling for the image of the artist as a hopeless romantic with no connection to reality. We need to understand the practicalities of our art in the world so that we can create the opportunities to bring inspiration across.

I have a rant about goofy ideas on art and artists available upon request.

Mustafa
04-18-2012, 07:18 PM
*Cough* Is that a joke?

There isn't really. You don't get certified "Artist" the way you do "Realtor."

Another Absolute Writer started a thread about the authority to declare artists in Costa Rica, (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=241623) which sounds like a Very Bad Thing (I wasn't able to confirm the story).

I didn't mean it as a joke. It's just that if everyone can call themselves an artist, doesn't that diminish the value of the term? Like maybe "artist" should be a professional title and only apply after you are paid for your work? I dunno.

Bubastes
04-18-2012, 07:21 PM
This reminds me of the debate over who can call themselves "writers" or "authors." :e2shrug:

Shadow_Ferret
04-18-2012, 07:21 PM
I've never considered myself an artist.

Discord
04-18-2012, 07:23 PM
I didn't mean it as a joke. It's just that if everyone can call themselves an artist, doesn't that diminish the value of the term? Like maybe "artist" should be a professional title and only apply after you are paid for your work? I dunno.

Then Vincent Van Gough wasn't an artist.

Every rule you come up with for the word, there are exceptions that destroy it. It is a slippery word.

Okay, NOW I'm really going. I wouldn't be procrastinating so much if the topic weren't so darn interesting.

Mustafa
04-18-2012, 07:29 PM
I've never considered myself an artist.

Neither have I. I have three novels published by commercial publishers, so I do consider myself a writer and author, but I've never thought of myself as an artist.

Alessandra Kelley
04-18-2012, 07:42 PM
I didn't mean it as a joke. It's just that if everyone can call themselves an artist, doesn't that diminish the value of the term? Like maybe "artist" should be a professional title and only apply after you are paid for your work? I dunno.

Well, I do know I get a lot of politely blank looks from people when I tell them I'm an artist. It's usually only after they have seen my postcards that they treat me like a professional.

But I do not think making "artist" a title you can only use if you have met certain requirements (as with, for example, "psychologist"), is a good solution. Pay is a particularly bad requirement because it throws out the jobless, the out of fashion, and the unlucky.

quicklime
04-18-2012, 07:45 PM
I hear people who write, and haven't been published talking about how being a 'starving artist' is just one of the trials all "artists" must endure. I never really thought of writers as artists and when people suggest it, I always find it a bit pretentious.

Is that just me? Do you guys think authors are artists?


a lot depends on how you wish to define "art" I guess.


personally I don't call writing "art" for myself, because my prose is pretty workhorse, and I don't consider "just making shit up and telling stories" art. Others are bound to disagree, and that's fine.

shadowwalker
04-18-2012, 07:48 PM
This is just how I view things.

A woodworker is a craftsman. S/he takes a piece of wood and a pattern and uses their skills to fashion a piece. It can be utilitarian, it can be beautiful, it can be both. When that craftsman takes those skills and, without a pre-existing pattern, fashions something unique and totally their own - they become the artist. I see writing in much the same way. Writers have to learn the craft of writing - the grammar, the structure, the 'pattern' of good writing. Once they've learned their craft, they take it a step further and produce something unique and totally their own. That's when they become an artist.

JMO

Toothpaste
04-18-2012, 07:54 PM
This is truly not meant to be dismissive of the question (as I already answered it above) but:

What does it matter?

Why does it matter if someone calls herself an artist?

Why do we need regulations on who can use the term?

How does it affect anything?


These are truly sincere non-rhetorical questions, despite the fact that that's the opposite of what such questions would normally be. I am truly curious about this.

Maze Runner
04-18-2012, 08:03 PM
If art imitates, represents, reflects, interprets life, brings a bit of understanding to the human condition so that one may go forward with a bit more context, then it's hard to imagine any activity, whether music, sculpture, painting, etc, that does it more so or with more relevancy and usefulness than writing.

Mustafa
04-18-2012, 08:14 PM
This is truly not meant to be dismissive of the question (as I already answered it above) but:

What does it matter?

Why does it matter if someone calls herself an artist?

Why do we need regulations on who can use the term?

How does it affect anything?


These are truly sincere non-rhetorical questions, despite the fact that that's the opposite of what such questions would normally be. I am truly curious about this.


I think it goes to wanting to use terms appropriately. I posed the question because as an author, I have never thought of myself as an artist. It felt strange, and a bit wrong to hear other writers calling themselves artists. clearly I am in the minority.

Maze Runner
04-18-2012, 08:21 PM
I think it goes to wanting to use terms appropriately. I posed the question because as an author, I have never thought of myself as an artist. It felt strange, and a bit wrong to hear other writers calling themselves artists. clearly I am in the minority.

It is an interesting question. So what IS art to you? And why?

Nimram
04-18-2012, 08:29 PM
Some authors are artists...just like some painters are artists or some sculptors. It seems to me they are the ones who usually don't call themselves "Artist".

Mustafa
04-18-2012, 08:32 PM
It is an interesting question. So what IS art to you? And why?

I'm not too sure. I think I need to ponder that for a bit. I wouldn't, for example, call writers of sit-coms artists. Nor would I call movie or play directors artists. This is going to take some thought.

Maze Runner
04-18-2012, 08:43 PM
I'm not too sure. I think I need to ponder that for a bit. I wouldn't, for example, call writers of sit-coms artists. Nor would I call movie or play directors artists. This is going to take some thought.

That's cool. I think it is an elusive subject- and subjective. By the way, I can't remember the last sitcom I watched- I don't watch much TV at all. But The Sopranos for example, it may not be your cup of tea, but in my subjective opinion, it more truthfully and revealingly represented that particular slice of life than did The Godfather, Goodfellas, or any mob movie I can name of the top of my head. 'Course it had a lot more time to do so. Maybe by intention, it's all art. Now whether it is received as such to one person or another is a different matter. I do though have to agree with the poster who said, What does it matter?

Toothpaste
04-18-2012, 08:48 PM
Nor would I call movie or play directors artists.

I find it stunning you say so. But I am interested to know why.

Having graduated university a theatre major and studied the way theatre has had a massive impact on cultures at large as well as politics. At the truly innovative and genius work that directors create. . . have you ever seen a Robert Lepage play?

I suppose if you don't actually know the role a director plays, and what they do, that might make you think they aren't artists. . . do you think plays and movies aren't art either?

Gosh, I am now really curious: why don't you think directors are artists??

RemusShepherd
04-18-2012, 08:52 PM
I am a writer, and an artist (see webcomic link below), and a scientist. I would say that writing is definitely art.

The distinction, to me, is in how the final product is assembled. In science you follow a rigorous methodology to collect and analyze data. While some qualitative factors enter the analysis, the overwhelming part of it is quantitative -- hard numbers. Your instinct only enters into the process when deciding what analyses to run. Perfect science is done by rote.

Art is a much more qualitative process. You decide what you want your final product to look like, and you decide what procedures you will use to get there. There are some quantitative factors to consider -- the limits of human vision, for example, or the dimensions of your canvas -- most of what you do is gut instinct. A line here...no, there. The best art is done by feeling your way to perfection.

Writing is much closer to Art than to Science, in my opinion. There are some hard rules like the rules of grammar, but most of writing involves making hazy decisions with no true answer, with a final product that you feel your way toward.

jjdebenedictis
04-18-2012, 08:54 PM
I think you're trying to draw a line between high art and low art, and saying that low art (mindless pop music, sitcoms, etc.) doesn't count as art.

I think it does. Low art won't stand the test of time, and people realize it's disposable entertainment rather than a great human achievement, but it's definitely art (to me.)

When I read the original post, my thought was "Well--writers aren't scientists, and they aren't athletes, so what would you call them?"

But that's the problem: if you define "art", "science", and "athleticism" as broadly as I do, then writers are certainly artists. However, if you have a more precise, specific definition than me, then perhaps they aren't.

I think this discussion hinges rather sensitively on how various people define the word "art". There's only an argument because there isn't any consensus.

Libbie
04-18-2012, 09:04 PM
I hear people who write, and haven't been published talking about how being a 'starving artist' is just one of the trials all "artists" must endure. I never really thought of writers as artists and when people suggest it, I always find it a bit pretentious.

Is that just me? Do you guys think authors are artists?

I come from a family of professional artists. I absolutely think writing is an art, and that writers are artists, particularly when it comes to fiction, narrative nonfiction, and poetry. There are so many similarities in the processes of what we think of as traditional arts and writing.

HoneyBadger
04-18-2012, 09:06 PM
I think you're trying to draw a line between high art and low art, and saying that low art (mindless pop music, sitcoms, etc.) doesn't count as art.

I think it does. Low art won't stand the test of time, and people realize it's disposable entertainment rather than a great human achievement, but it's definitely art (to me.)

When I read the original post, my thought was "Well--writers aren't scientists, and they aren't athletes, so what would you call them?"

But that's the problem: if you define "art", "science", and "athleticism" as broadly as I do, then writers are certainly artists. However, if you have a more precise, specific definition than me, then perhaps they aren't.

I think this discussion hinges rather sensitively on how various people define the word "art". There's only an argument because there isn't any consensus.


It's also very difficult to define high/low art in the moment of that art's creation/appreciation.

Sure, Jersey Shore's probably never going to be seen as high art, but neither Shakespeare nor Jane Austen were creators of high art of their time.

Ug, I hope to never put Jersey Shore and Jane Austen in the same sentence again.

Libbie
04-18-2012, 09:10 PM
Being a starving artist is not a trial to endure, it's a consequence of deliberate government policy choices and stupid romanticism.

Yes.

Everybody in my family makes quite excellent money from their art. I intend to do the same with my writing.

...although I think what people usually mean by "starving artist" is "suffering for one's art," which implies either that one isn't "really" an artist if one is making money from it, or that one can't create worthwhile art if one isn't all angsty and flailing about in life. I think we all angst and flail, and that it does indeed help make good art, but smart artists angst and flail privately, not all over the internets and/or all over their city like buffoons. Art schools really should teach business courses, and courses on how public image impacts art sales. And it does impact art sales.

heza
04-18-2012, 09:18 PM
I apologize. I was being way oversensitive about the distinction between art and craft. You, and indeed everyone in this thread, have been quite reasonable.

I wasn't fishing for an apology. I was actually asking for clarification... I just feel like you're arguing against something you think I'm saying but I don't think I am.

I feel like you think I'm saying I think there is a separation (category 1: Art; category 2: Craft) and that writers are part of the craft category. I'm not trying to say that. I'm trying to say that because there is a "artificial and relatively new" separation in the way a lot of people (sometimes including writers) think about the words art and craft, the way we ourselves talk about our work (we don't use "art" a lot because we don't want people to confuse us for sculptors or painters) might be part of what leads people to think of writing as not a fine art. I'm not saying there is a difference, only that there might be a difference in the perception as far as categorizing goes.

I don't agree with it. There are a lot of different kinds of art. To me, storytelling (literary art) might straddle something between visual art and performance art. Can oral histories be considered some sort of folk art? When I write, I put as much care and thought into word choice and word order as a painter does with color and placement of strokes. We're both trying to evoke emotion with our work; we both have themes.


I'm not too sure. I think I need to ponder that for a bit. I wouldn't, for example, call writers of sit-coms artists. Nor would I call movie or play directors artists. This is going to take some thought.

I was at our fine arts museum with my dad and we passed a series of large canvases all painted solid colors. My dad asked if they were place holders for something coming soon. He also didn't think much of the white room with blacklighting. I think there's a special skill involved in writing a sitcom... is there a special skill involved in painting a huge canvas all one color? Depends on who you ask, I guess.

Mustafa
04-18-2012, 09:34 PM
I find it stunning you say so. But I am interested to know why.

Having graduated university a theatre major and studied the way theatre has had a massive impact on cultures at large as well as politics. At the truly innovative and genius work that directors create. . . have you ever seen a Robert Lepage play?

I suppose if you don't actually know the role a director plays, and what they do, that might make you think they aren't artists. . . do you think plays and movies aren't art either?

Gosh, I am now really curious: why don't you think directors are artists??

I guess I feel I need to draw a line somewhere. Yes, I think some directors (Spielberg to name one) are brilliant, but I also think some doctors are brilliant and I don't call them artists either.

If someone played league soccer and called themselves an athlete, I'd likely think them pretentious. Same goes for someone who strums a guitar and calls themselves a musician.

I think the post a couple back about trying to differentiate between high and low art is probably what I'm getting hung up on. If one director is an artist, then I guess all directors are artists, even those that are directing, say, porn (nothing against porn, but I'd say it involves a considerably lower set of skills than directing a movie like Inception - I just realized there may be a porn movie titled Inception too, so for clarity sakes, I'm referencing the one with Leonardo.).

Maze Runner
04-18-2012, 09:41 PM
I guess I feel I need to draw a line somewhere. Yes, I think some directors (Spielberg to name one) are brilliant, but I also think some doctors are brilliant and I don't call them artists either.

If someone played league soccer and called themselves an athlete, I'd likely think them pretentious. Same goes for someone who strums a guitar and calls themselves a musician.

I think the post a couple back about trying to differentiate between high and low art is probably what I'm getting hung up on. If one director is an artist, then I guess all directors are artists, even those that are directing, say, porn (nothing against porn, but I'd say it involves a considerably lower set of skills than directing a movie like Inception - I just realized there may be a porn movie titled Inception too, so for clarity sakes, I'm referencing the one with Leonardo.).

Someone who plays league soccer is not an athlete? I really think you're injecting your own opinions into this, way too much. I'm not a big Speilberg fan, or Tarantino fan. I don't like rap music, but have to admit that I've heard some that I thought were astute observations, gave me something to think about. I think it's fine if you want to have strict rules for what you consider art and what you do not, I guess, but only if you allow for the likely possibility that I or someone else may disagree with you. Art, in this subjective sense, may just be whatever resonates with you, individually.

Toothpaste
04-18-2012, 09:42 PM
I guess I feel I need to draw a line somewhere. Yes, I think some directors (Spielberg to name one) are brilliant, but I also think some doctors are brilliant and I don't call them artists either.


But the definition of an artist isn't "someone brilliant at their job" - unless that's how you're defining it of course . . . actually now that I think about it I do tend to consider someone an artist if they show true genius/brilliance - I would call a doctor an artist in certain situations, like say if he was an extraordinary surgeon, I might say he was an artist with a knife.

Still, I don't quite know why you don't think directors aren't artists. Why you compare them to doctors? I'd still like to know what you think a director does :) .



I just realized there may be a porn movie titled Inception too, so for clarity sakes, I'm referencing the one with Leonardo.).

There might be a porn called Inception starring a Leonardo too though . . . ;)

Alessandra Kelley
04-18-2012, 09:47 PM
I wasn't fishing for an apology. I was actually asking for clarification... I just feel like you're arguing against something you think I'm saying but I don't think I am.

I feel like you think I'm saying I think there is a separation (category 1: Art; category 2: Craft) and that writers are part of the craft category. I'm not trying to say that. I'm trying to say that because there is a "artificial and relatively new" separation in the way a lot of people (sometimes including writers) think about the words art and craft, the way we ourselves talk about our work (we don't use "art" a lot because we don't want people to confuse us for sculptors or painters) might be part of what leads people to think of writing as not a fine art. I'm not saying there is a difference, only that there might be a difference in the perception as far as categorizing goes.

I do think I was arguing unrelated to what you were actually saying. It sounds like you're saying that the artificial distinction which has been created between art and craft has disassociated writing from art in modern perceptions, even the perceptions of writers themselves.

If that's your premise, I agree with you.


I don't agree with it. There are a lot of different kinds of art. To me, storytelling (literary art) might straddle something between visual art and performance art. Can oral histories be considered some sort of folk art? When I write, I put as much care and thought into word choice and word order as a painter does with color and placement of strokes. We're both trying to evoke emotion with our work; we both have themes.

Yup. Still agree.


I was at our fine arts museum with my dad and we passed a series of large canvases all painted solid colors. My dad asked if they were place holders for something coming soon. He also didn't think much of the white room with blacklighting. I think there's a special skill involved in writing a sitcom... is there a special skill involved in painting a huge canvas all one color? Depends on who you ask, I guess.

I think the intimate connection between art and meaning has been corroding for a long time and got badly skewed some time in the 1950s. If art does not touch its audience, if it fails to connect, it is failed art. Art which has nothing to say except to a very small, select audience of cognoscenti is perhaps not the best choice to take up valuable wall space in museums.

gothicangel
04-18-2012, 09:51 PM
I guess I feel I need to draw a line somewhere. Yes, I think some directors (Spielberg to name one) are brilliant, but I also think some doctors are brilliant and I don't call them artists either.



Spielberg does a decent film to while a way a few hours, but brilliant? No. Brilliant directors to me are the auteurs [French for 'authors.] Directors like Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger [and Pressburger's grandson Kevin MacDonald - going to see his Bob Marley documentary next week at sooo excited. :D], Jean Jacques Arnauld and Jacques Audiard.

Toothpaste
04-18-2012, 09:56 PM
Still thinking about this thread.

I remember going through an interesting self-analysis while studying art history. I understood why all these works I was being taught were considered art. I couldn't really debate it, even if they weren't gorgeous I could see why they were important, etc.

So I finally realised what my issue was, I didn't necessarily love all these pieces. Nor did I always agree with their philosophy. But just because I felt that way didn't mean they weren't art.

I concluded that I was capable of accepting that something was art, but that that didn't have to mean I had to like it.

It was a very freeing moment.

Maybe that's something worth thinking about Mustafa. It seems to me right now your definition is very much in line with your personal tastes. Which could totally work, but makes for difficulty in having broader conversations on the subject.

quicklime
04-18-2012, 09:57 PM
I guess I feel I need to draw a line somewhere. Yes, I think some directors (Spielberg to name one) are brilliant, but I also think some doctors are brilliant and I don't call them artists either.

.


but you can't. you're welcome to your opinion, but art is at best semi-quantitative......you might as well try to legislate which foods are "tasty".

Alessandra Kelley
04-18-2012, 09:58 PM
I guess I feel I need to draw a line somewhere. Yes, I think some directors (Spielberg to name one) are brilliant, but I also think some doctors are brilliant and I don't call them artists either.

If someone played league soccer and called themselves an athlete, I'd likely think them pretentious. Same goes for someone who strums a guitar and calls themselves a musician.

I think the post a couple back about trying to differentiate between high and low art is probably what I'm getting hung up on. If one director is an artist, then I guess all directors are artists, even those that are directing, say, porn (nothing against porn, but I'd say it involves a considerably lower set of skills than directing a movie like Inception - I just realized there may be a porn movie titled Inception too, so for clarity sakes, I'm referencing the one with Leonardo.).

You are confusing art with good art. There is a lot of art out there, and Sturgeon's law applies to it as well as to anything else. Porn may not be good art, or art to one's taste, but it is art which people are trying to make in order to communicate.

Just because someone is an artist making art does not mean that the art is any good or to any particular person's taste.

Another way to put it is you are confusing art, which is what artists make, with "Art," the cultural word for something brilliantly successful.


But the definition of an artist isn't "someone brilliant at their job" - unless that's how you're defining it of course . . . actually now that I think about it I do tend to consider someone an artist if they show true genius/brilliance - I would call a doctor an artist in certain situations, like say if he was an extraordinary surgeon, I might say he was an artist with a knife.

And that's another problem. "Artist" also has a colloquial, cultural meaning of "brilliant in one's chosen profession," as in "He's an artist on the basketball court."

These uses of the words "art" and "artist" are slang terms of praise, not descriptions of an occupation and its products.

HoneyBadger
04-18-2012, 10:00 PM
"If I like it, it's art. If I hate it, it's awful." -Practically everyone ever who never really honed their critical thinking abilities.

Maze Runner
04-18-2012, 10:10 PM
"If I like it, it's art. If I hate it, it's awful." -Practically everyone ever who never really honed their critical thinking abilities.

Hard to argue with this. And I have to admit that I've been trying to decide that if in the OP's case, it comes from an arrogance or a bias, or if it has more to do with some awe-inspired, grandiose image of what "art" is. Let's face it, it's mostly just hard work.

Maze Runner
04-18-2012, 10:17 PM
Help us out here, Mustafa- Are you arrogant in your opinions, or humbled by the effect that art has had on you? Don't mean to ridicule, just looking for an interesting discussion to help me justify my procrastination.

quicklime
04-18-2012, 10:51 PM
Help us out here, Mustafa- Are you arrogant in your opinions, or humbled by the effect that art has had on you? Don't mean to ridicule, just looking for an interesting discussion to help me justify my procrastination.


RYFW

RichardGarfinkle
04-18-2012, 10:53 PM
There does seem to be some confusion going on here between art, good art, high art, and stuff a particular person likes.

I tend to define art as the creation of objects or the performance of actions for the purpose of affecting one or more people's minds.

This is sufficiently broad as to include teaching, cooking, conversation and a number of other actions.

People do not, however, all think the same, so a work of art that affects one person may do nothing for another, and a piece of art that fascinates one person may bore or disgust another.

Furthermore, with a definition this broad art is being done all over the place, but it's usually not noticed or marked out as art. That's because most art doesn't stick with us. We see a lot of things, hear a lot of music, eat a lot of meals etc. But only a few make a lasting impression on us.

Works of art that stand the test of time ( in that they keep affecting people long after the artist is gone) are what people usually think of when they talk about art. But this is a definition that only works retroactively. That's fine if we're defining great art, but not if we're defining art itself.

Discord
04-18-2012, 10:54 PM
Nor would I call movie or play directors artists.
Well, as a professional theatre director, I can't pretend I'm not a little annoyed by that statement. A director can be the difference between a hackneyed ruff-collared production of Hamlet and a transgressive, genre-bending, psychosexual Shakespearian experiment. If that's not art, then I don't understand your premise.

An "artist" is, semantically, "one who creates art". If you say someone is not an artist, you are saying that what they create is not art. If you consider Shakespeare art, but not sitcoms, then art is a qualitative measure, not actually a definition. Art is only art if it is 'good' enough. By the standard you seem to be implying, art is something that a society of cultured individuals have agreed is worthwhile.

Yet here's the rub: even if we don't go with the 'eye of the beholder' argument, that society of cultured individuals still doesn't hold water because every generation since cave paintings has dismissed what we now hold sacrosanct as trash.

Anything that isn't religious in content was once trash. Anything that doesn't conform to the norms of the country of origin was once trash. Jackson Polluck was trash. Van Gough was trash. Rock music was trash. Science Fiction was trash.

Until suddenly, it wasn't.

(PS: I'm not trying to flame you or start a bickering match, I hope this doesn't come off as attacking. We can disagree and still be friendly :) )

heza
04-18-2012, 10:59 PM
I do think I was arguing unrelated to what you were actually saying. It sounds like you're saying that the artificial distinction which has been created between art and craft has disassociated writing from art in modern perceptions, even the perceptions of writers themselves.

If that's your premise, I agree with you.


Yes. This is more or less what I was trying to say. :)

gothicangel
04-18-2012, 11:00 PM
Help us out here, Mustafa- Are you arrogant in your opinions, or humbled by the effect that art has had on you? Don't mean to ridicule, just looking for an interesting discussion to help me justify my procrastination.

I don't know. I'm wondering form having read the OP's other threads, that it's a case of just not being widely read enough. Heck, I thought I really worldly versed in cinema, then my sister started a degree in Global Cinema and brought home some serious films [Amores Perros, A Prophet] and Anime. It was a brilliant learning curve. :D [In turn, I've given her some seriously fucked-up books. :evil]

shadowwalker
04-18-2012, 11:07 PM
An "artist" is, semantically, "one who creates art".

I've always considered art to be anything creative, and therefore anyone who creates it is an artist. We don't have to like it - seriously, I still have a hard time looking at Picasso's later works without wondering which side is up, but that doesn't mean he wasn't a great artist. I just don't understand his artistry.

Shadow_Ferret
04-18-2012, 11:17 PM
"If I like it, it's art. If I hate it, it's awful." -Practically everyone ever who never really honed their critical thinking abilities.

I find this insulting. So because I don't love everything defined as "art" that makes me an idiot? I believe that because I do have critical thinking skills that I'm allowed to label things crap. :rant:

Maze Runner
04-18-2012, 11:19 PM
I don't know. I'm wondering form having read the OP's other threads, that it's a case of just not being widely read enough. Heck, I thought I really worldly versed in cinema, then my sister started a degree in Global Cinema and brought home some serious films [Amores Perros, A Prophet] and Anime. It was a brilliant learning curve. :D [In turn, I've given her some seriously fucked-up books. :evil]

And isn't that a trait that artists must aspire to and maintain? To stay OPEN- Once you think you have all the answers that's when you're dead as an "artist". Oops, there's that word again.

Nice of you to return the gesture- though, one girl's fucked up just might be another one's meat, so to speak. Man, I will give anything a chance. Any music, lit, movies, I always seem to get something out of it. Even if it's what I DON'T wanna do. As Stephen King said, (his book on writing is a good one), I'll paraphrase- you're likely to learn more from reading a bad book than a good one.

quicklime
04-18-2012, 11:24 PM
I find this insulting. So because I don't love everything defined as "art" that makes me an idiot? I believe that because I do have critical thinking skills that I'm allowed to label things crap. :rant:


you two girl-fight nicely....or at least change into somethin smutty first.

I think honey was saying that lumping it that way is often done by someone with limited critical thinking skills because they have difficulty compartmentalizing their own biases versus merit. That doesn't mean the converse is true, that learning means you accept everything, it means you come to a point of realizing "dislike" does not indicate "crap"--"crap" indicates "crap".

As an example, I can say Waller takes one line where he says something pretty well, then adds three where he repeats the same thing, going more and more purple, and calls it a paragraph, and to me, this is shit writing (Bridges of Madison County). "Its a romance, so it's all lame and crappy" is different. Romance isn't my genre, but I've read some written well, and can appreciate that even though I was still waiting for that book to end so I could open something by King.

Discord
04-18-2012, 11:24 PM
I find this insulting. So because I don't love everything defined as "art" that makes me an idiot? I believe that because I do have critical thinking skills that I'm allowed to label things crap. :rant:

Sure, you can think it's crap. It's still art. It can be art and and still be a failure. Art is a tricky concept, and what makes it art is a lot more complex than "good or bad".

Saying, "I think this art is bad" is engaging your critical thinking skills. Saying, "I think this is bad and therefore it is not art" is like saying you ultimately have the authority to decide what art is, more than the artist and more than all the readers/viewers who liked it. You are saying what it IS or IS NOT, rather than what you THINK of it.

HoneyBadger
04-18-2012, 11:30 PM
I dislike things that I still think are objectively "good," like Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. I want to like it so much, but I just can't get into it. And I like things that are, without question *cough*BRIDALPLASTY*cough*, bad.


Being able to evaluate the merits of something while setting aside your personal beliefs, as quicklime and Discord have said, is where critical thinking skills come into play.

gothicangel
04-19-2012, 01:13 AM
And isn't that a trait that artists must aspire to and maintain? To stay OPEN- Once you think you have all the answers that's when you're dead as an "artist". Oops, there's that word again.

Nice of you to return the gesture- though, one girl's fucked up just might be another one's meat, so to speak. Man, I will give anything a chance. Any music, lit, movies, I always seem to get something out of it. Even if it's what I DON'T wanna do. As Stephen King said, (his book on writing is a good one), I'll paraphrase- you're likely to learn more from reading a bad book than a good one.

I agree.

I'm currently reading Andrew Miller's Pure, which won the Costa Book Award. I'll confess, I'm struggling, and the 2nd person POV is driving me nutty, but I'm reading it [and Mantell's Wolf Hall is next on the list] because I want to see what the difference is between the hisorical fiction that wins literary awards, and those that don't.

Maze Runner
04-19-2012, 01:26 AM
I agree.

I'm currently reading Andrew Miller's Pure, which won the Costa Book Award. I'll confess, I'm struggling, and the 2nd person POV is driving me nutty, but I'm reading it [and Mantell's Wolf Hall is next on the list] because I want to see what the difference is between the hisorical fiction that wins literary awards, and those that don't.

I mean, we're never resolved are we? Never certain. Always in a state of flux. It can tire you the hell out, but I have a hunch that it will also keep you young.

Mustafa
04-19-2012, 01:37 AM
I don't offend easily, and am not offended now. Honestly I quite like this discussion. My opinion could well be a result of arrogance (that's something I'm wondering myself right now), but I suspect it's more to do with my ignorance in this field and an overwhelming need for terminology to be in tidy little boxes.

I don't know. I agree with the fact that an artist is one who creates art, but I guess the definition of art is what I'm struggling with. And I don't think it's my own personal tastes, though it might be. I've seen some remarkable works of art (paintings, sculptures, photography ...), and I acknowledged them as art even if I have not been impressed by them.

But it seems "art" is an entirely subjective term. At least, that's the impression I'm getting here. I can think of an instance where every job could have the term "artist" associated with it. What sets the "artist" apart from the "want to be artist" if not skill?

I don't think a surgeon is an artist anymore than I think a mechanic is an artist. Or someone who works in auto body repair is an artist.

I do, however, support subway's insistence that they employ "sandwich artists" :)

Ken
04-19-2012, 01:51 AM
... there have been some great writers who starved at the outset. Dostoevsky was one. And even after he made it, he was still poor a lot of the time because of gambling. I'm conservative with the term 'artist' when applied to writers. To me it signifies an originator: someone who breaks new ground or affords new insight. Dostoevsky qualified in that regard, along with one or two others.

Filigree
04-19-2012, 05:03 AM
Longish observation about 'art':

For 10 years I made my living in the cut-throat world of home decor mass-production wall art. If it hung in Cost Plus, Pier One, Bombay Company, Robb & Stucky, Ethan Allen, or any one of a thousand home-decor retailers or poster shops in the US, the UK, or Europe, chances were my company (or their competition) painted it.

How cut-throat was it? Our rivals sent spies to our showroom, we'd send spies to theirs, we'd have to close the ground-floor blinds at night to keep folks from photographing works in progress, and we locked up our garbage and shredded all sketches. The main entrance to the building had a security guard who checked purses and backpacks. Before I left several years ago, cellphones were being confiscated to prevent photography. Members of our company were offered bribes to share proprietary information. Our designers, in turn, appropriated styles if not actual compositions from modern artists featured in high-end art and decor magazines. Some of our designers and production artists could earn 60K to 100K a year; most limped along at far lower salaries.

None of this stuff is ever going to be in a museum. Some of it was quite beautiful - and sometimes even thought-provoking. But it was art painted according to formula, with set colorways, and the artists were paid a per-square-inch-fee to paint it. Nor were they allowed the luxury of time and hand-wringing about lack of inspiration. To this day, I can crank out a capable and intricate abstract or landscape 50"x50" canvas in a day or two, tops. It was the artistic equivalent of writing for sf pulp magazines, back in the day.

The lessons I absorbed there I can easily use in my more-serious graphic design and painting, including some tips about acrylic paint that would have cost me big bucks to learn at an art school. I also learned to put aside my personal taste and do the best possible job on the art, because someone loved it enough to order a copy.

Somewhere along the way, I internalized some broader ideas about art. I'd always hated the flat, boring color fields of Mark Rothko, wondering why anyone would consider that art. Until my company took a field trip to a museum where, among other things, two Rothko canvases were displayed.

The real thing had hypnotic variations of brushwork and tone not apparent in photos. Still not my taste, but I could see why his art was famous.

Same with books, surgery, auto mechanics, or city design. Someone at the top of their game, applying all their skill while being open to sudden change and redirection - that's an artist.

But because we apply the same word and definition to someone puttering along at a lower skill level (as a hobby, or for therapy's sake), we then have to deal with the huge subjective minefield of cultural expectation that goes along with the term 'artist'.

This is a great discussion, but it may skirt the real issue: how to aim for one's best quality work, no matter the medium or situation.

Sirion
04-19-2012, 05:37 AM
Of course they are

Shadow_Ferret
04-19-2012, 08:10 AM
Sure, you can think it's crap. It's still art. It can be art and and still be a failure. Art is a tricky concept, and what makes it art is a lot more complex than "good or bad".

Saying, "I think this art is bad" is engaging your critical thinking skills. Saying, "I think this is bad and therefore it is not art" is like saying you ultimately have the authority to decide what art is, more than the artist and more than all the readers/viewers who liked it. You are saying what it IS or IS NOT, rather than what you THINK of it.

That's not what she said though. If she had said that, I'd have agreed. I can dislike something but it remains art whether it fits my definition of good, bad, or what have you.

HoneyBadger
04-19-2012, 06:10 PM
That's not what she said though. If she had said that, I'd have agreed. I can dislike something but it remains art whether it fits my definition of good, bad, or what have you.

Of course you can. What I said applies to those who can't or won't have that insight, so "like it = art, dislike it = crap" doesn't apply to you.

It's really that simple.

kuwisdelu
04-19-2012, 10:25 PM
Of course! Why wouldn't we be?

Mustafa
04-20-2012, 12:34 AM
Of course! Why wouldn't we be?

At what point do you become an artist? When you start writing? When you've completed a project? When you've contemplated the idea? When you've sold some work? What are the requirements for joining communities of artists? Or professional artist associations? I've been trying to find that answer myself, and it seems to range from, nothing at all, to having a group of peers determine the artistic merit of the work.

Toothpaste
04-20-2012, 12:44 AM
Again, I repeat the main question of my list back a few pages, why do you need this defined?

(if it is just an interesting philosophical exercise, do carry on :) , but it seems like there's a more pragmatic reason for you for some reason, and I'd love to know what it is)

shadowwalker
04-20-2012, 01:01 AM
At what point do you become an artist? When you start writing? When you've completed a project? When you've contemplated the idea? When you've sold some work?

When does life begin... how many angels fit on the head of a pin...


What are the requirements for joining communities of artists? Or professional artist associations? I've been trying to find that answer myself, and it seems to range from, nothing at all, to having a group of peers determine the artistic merit of the work.

See the guidelines for the group you're looking at.

You do seem to want an extremely definitive answer, which leads me to think you don't see writers as artists and are disappointed no one agrees with you.

HoneyBadger
04-20-2012, 01:02 AM
When is a person a student?

When they go to school? When they learn something? When they join a club of students? When they win a scholarship?

leon66a
04-20-2012, 01:38 AM
When is a person a student?

When they go to school? When they learn something? When they join a club of students? When they win a scholarship?

That seems an easier question to answer. If I ask someone what they do and they say I'm a student, I expect that they are currently enrolled in some institution of learning. If I ask them where they go to school and they say they are a student of life, I will roll my eyes and think them a douchebag.

I don't know if there are similar clear lines regarding who is an artist. The question I think comes down to whether there should be a qualitative component to defining what is art.

Mustafa
04-20-2012, 01:43 AM
You do seem to want an extremely definitive answer, which leads me to think you don't see writers as artists and are disappointed no one agrees with you.

Have you read the whole thread? I clearly don't agree that writers are artists, since I have said as much. But I don't care in the least if no one agrees with me (but if you'd read the thread you'd see that I'm not alone).

Still, to answer Toothpaste: originally I thought, "wow, really? and author is an artist? hmmm, that's interesting that so many people think so. I wonder why I don't think so... hmmm." And now I think, "what an interesting philosophical discussion." As that is what it is. Clearly there can be nothing but opinions when it comes to this sort of thing. And as I searched the net, I found several other debates about the same thing (well, not to do with writers, but rather, when is an artist an artist?).

Maze Runner
04-20-2012, 01:43 AM
When does life begin... how many angels fit on the head of a pin...



See the guidelines for the group you're looking at.

You do seem to want an extremely definitive answer, which leads me to think you don't see writers as artists and are disappointed no one agrees with you.

I'm having a hard time understanding, if not fiction writers, then whom would he consider to be artists? I don't think any art form comes as close to illuminating the human experience as does literature. Now, we may disagree on what is literature and what is not. But if writers, let's say his favorite writers are not artists, then who the hell is?!

I also don't understand why he cares.

RichardGarfinkle
04-20-2012, 01:46 AM
At what point do you become an artist? When you start writing? When you've completed a project? When you've contemplated the idea? When you've sold some work? What are the requirements for joining communities of artists? Or professional artist associations? I've been trying to find that answer myself, and it seems to range from, nothing at all, to having a group of peers determine the artistic merit of the work.

This sounds like you want the word artist to mean professional artist, or even great artist. The former is discerned by making money by art, the latter by the test of time. But neither of those seems to be a real answer to the OP.

Several people here have given definitions of art that writing clearly falls into.

Rather than get hung up on whether one can define oneself as an artist or a writer, it is better to do the work of an artist, of a writer. To work at if with the whole of your mind and care and to keep trying to get better at it.

The doing of art makes the artist, the mindful practice and learning make the dedicated artist, and the work itself is the only testimony needed.

The only sure sign of a nonartist is that they make no art.

Maze Runner
04-20-2012, 01:55 AM
Have you read the whole thread? I clearly don't agree that writers are artists, since I have said as much. But I don't care in the least if no one agrees with me (but if you'd read the thread you'd see that I'm not alone).

Still, to answer Toothpaste: originally I thought, "wow, really? and author is an artist? hmmm, that's interesting that so many people think so. I wonder why I don't think so... hmmm." And now I think, "what an interesting philosophical discussion." As that is what it is. Clearly there can be nothing but opinions when it comes to this sort of thing. And as I searched the net, I found several other debates about the same thing (well, not to do with writers, but rather, when is an artist an artist?).

I agree. So why don't you give us a few examples of whom you do consider to be artists?

Toothpaste
04-20-2012, 02:00 AM
Have you read the whole thread? I clearly don't agree that writers are artists, since I have said as much. But I don't care in the least if no one agrees with me (but if you'd read the thread you'd see that I'm not alone).

Still, to answer Toothpaste: originally I thought, "wow, really? and author is an artist? hmmm, that's interesting that so many people think so. I wonder why I don't think so... hmmm." And now I think, "what an interesting philosophical discussion." As that is what it is. Clearly there can be nothing but opinions when it comes to this sort of thing. And as I searched the net, I found several other debates about the same thing (well, not to do with writers, but rather, when is an artist an artist?).

Cool, since it is a philosophical conversation and you aren't looking to us for answers, then I'd love to hear your answers to your questions:

Why do you "clearly" think authors aren't artists?

And what is your particular definition of artist?

Remember, it's not like we go around having all the answers to these kinds of questions tucked away, we're just puzzling through this now in this thread like you are. Even if you don't 100% know yourself, it would be interesting to at least get a sense of why you feel how you do. Just as it is interesting to you to see the reasoning behind those who disagree with you, it is interesting to us to see why you disagree.

shadowwalker
04-20-2012, 02:05 AM
Have you read the whole thread? I clearly don't agree that writers are artists, since I have said as much. But I don't care in the least if no one agrees with me (but if you'd read the thread you'd see that I'm not alone).


Well, I have read the whole thread. And I keep wondering why you keep coming up with "but...but...but..." So yeah, switch to a purely philosophical discussion and go on for pages about what is art... :Shrug:

Mustafa
04-20-2012, 02:12 AM
I've had some moderate success with my writing, but I've never considered myself an artist. I just thought of myself as a competent story teller. I guess I think of an author as someone who could sit around a campfire and weave a good tale. I don't consider story telling "art."

Alessandra Kelley
04-20-2012, 02:14 AM
I've had some moderate success with my writing, but I've never considered myself an artist. I just thought of myself as a competent story teller. I guess I think of an author as someone who could sit around a campfire and weave a good tale. I don't consider story telling "art."

Well, what do you consider art to be, then? (asks the artist-who-is-not-a-writer)

Maze Runner
04-20-2012, 02:17 AM
Never mind.

kuwisdelu
04-20-2012, 02:57 AM
At what point do you become an artist? When you start writing? When you've completed a project? When you've contemplated the idea? When you've sold some work? What are the requirements for joining communities of artists? Or professional artist associations? I've been trying to find that answer myself, and it seems to range from, nothing at all, to having a group of peers determine the artistic merit of the work.

The same could be said of any kind of art, though. If someone paints, does that make that person an artist?

Are you asking whether writing can be art or what defines an artist?

Bubastes
04-20-2012, 04:09 AM
The same could be said of any kind of art, though. If someone paints, does that make that person an artist?


Can Thomas Kinkade be considered an artist?

Shadow_Ferret
04-20-2012, 04:28 AM
Can Thomas Kinkade be considered an artist?

In the same way that James Pattersoncan be considered an author.

jjdebenedictis
04-20-2012, 06:02 AM
Can Thomas Kinkade be considered an artist?Yes. I dislike what how and what he paints, but he's an artist.

How about the guy who poured lead into a corpse's ear, then cracked open the skull to dig the lead out and called it a sculpture? Is he an artist or a con artist or just someone who does oddly fascinating gross stuff?

RichardGarfinkle
04-20-2012, 10:39 AM
If we're seriously going to jump the shark into who and what arr is and whether writing is art (as opposed to just saying yes), let me throw a few hammerheads into the tank with Comcpetual Art:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conceptual_art

Here's the thing. For all practical purposes conceptual art is writing. The artist writes instructions for what the art will be and thaf's pretty much it.
So writing that is used to say what art would be is deemed to be art by the art world.

Note: Conceptual Art annoys me, but it has enough irony for where this thread seems to be going.

backslashbaby
04-20-2012, 11:09 AM
I think proof to me that writing is art is seen in the process used to make it good. Doctors (your example) are different, because they rely on so much science to make their choices.

We get all sorts of people on here who want to know the exact formulas for good writing. There aren't any solid formulas, not even long complex ones, because writing is art :)

And if writing is art, writers are artists.

Now don't ask me if cheerleaders are athletes or I'm liable to smack you ;) ;)

RichardGarfinkle
04-20-2012, 11:48 AM
I think proof to me that writing is art is seen in the process used to make it good. Doctors (your example) are different, because they rely on so much science to make their choices.

We get all sorts of people on here who want to know the exact formulas for good writing. There aren't any solid formulas, not even long complex ones, because writing is art :)

And if writing is art, writers are artists.

Now don't ask me if cheerleaders are athletes or I'm liable to smack you ;) ;)

To reiterate, of course, writing is an art. And, yes, it's depressing how much people want formulae when there can't be any. Besides what would be the point. If there were a formula to writing it wouldn't be worth the dedication of thought, care, and human effort.

But, and this is going to sound weird, in this sense, there aren't formulae in math and science either.

Formulae are the products of math and science (some of the products). They're also the tools. But they aren't what mathematicians and scientists think by.

Math and science are as much human endeavors requiring human mind, ingenuity, inspiration, dedication, effort, and strange perspective as any art.

Phaeal
04-20-2012, 04:48 PM
As long as someone doesn't call himself an "artiste,"* I'm good.


* Well, okay, French speakers are allowed to call themselves "artistes," but NO ONE ELSE.

Discord
04-20-2012, 04:55 PM
I think it was Toothpaste that asked the question, "why does it matter?" which is a deceptively simple question that I think actually makes a great point.

Seriously. Why does it?

Is an athlete someone that plays soccer in the park with her friends on Saturdays? Is a ballerina an athlete? Does an athlete have to be professional, or do student athletes count? Are you an athlete if you just go to the gym regularly?

Repeat with "Student" as HB said. Is a homeschooled kid a student? Etc. etc. etc...

Why aren't we asking these questions? Because we don't need to. Through context, we understand what someone means when they use the word "athlete". If there is any ambiguity, we add modifier words like "professional" or "student". Everybody gets it. So why doesn't everybody just get it with "artist"? I mean, really guys. If we cut the rhetoric, we do know what we mean. We mean someone who deliberately creates things simply to have artistic meaning. If we need to specify, we add words like "professional". Easy.

More philosophical arguments like, 'art is what holds a mirror up to life', or 'art is a mode of communication between artist and audience' are really about why we make art, not what art fundamentally is. For every rule, there is an exception. So I think it's good to keep it simple: Art is something we make just to be art.

So to go back to Toothpaste's question, why does it matter? It matters because if you can label someone's work "not art", you have applied an objective value to what is subjective. You have decided that *your* definitions of what touches and inspires you defines what the english language should reflect.

It's ironic that this practical devaluation of art and artists seems to come from a hyper-valuation of art in our culture. We love art so much, we can't trust it to just anyone. Art belongs to the educated, to the brilliant, to the inspired. Artists are born. Artists are special. Art can't be trusted to that unwashed hippie with the paintbrush.

Except that a quick glance at the history of art will tell you that it's the unwashed hippies with paintbrushes that are remembered for their art.

So why does it matter how we define "art"? It matters because control of language is control of culture. If art is a measure of quality and one specific standard (that of the wealthy and educated) defines what is art, then all other voices are held at a lesser standard. It's a proprietary, exclusionary view. And that is how hegemony works - by a system of value in certain voices and the devaluation of others.

Letting someone who draws stick figures in crayon and genuinely believes they're worthwhile and beautiful call himself an artist does no harm at all to Michaelangelo. Denying the word "artist" to everyone but Michaelangelo and people with his aesthetic sense DOES do harm to everyone else with something to say and a creative mode to say it. Practically speaking that means a society with less art in it. I don't think anybody here wants that.

REMLIG
05-13-2012, 09:46 AM
One of my articles was just published about this very subject.

Some of what I wrote in the article is...

Writers paint beautiful pictures with their words.

An artist is anyone that is passionate about their creation that comes in may forms, writing is one of them.

shaldna
05-13-2012, 11:17 AM
I hear people who write, and haven't been published talking about how being a 'starving artist' is just one of the trials all "artists" must endure. I never really thought of writers as artists and when people suggest it, I always find it a bit pretentious.

Is that just me? Do you guys think authors are artists?

Honestly, while I agree that writing is part of 'the arts' it sets my teeth on edge when a writer calls themselves an 'artist' - it's usually a sign of an impending primadonna breakdown.

Once!
05-13-2012, 11:54 AM
The definition of art is constantly changing. Right now, we are in the middle of a period of intense change. For me, that's why some folks are arguing X and some are arguing Y. It's not that the X-arguers are right or wrong. They are just seeing the process of change from a slightly different perspective.

There was a time when it was fairly easy to spot art. It came in a fancy frame or it was plonked on a plinth or you had to sit on posh chairs to watch or listen to it. And it was usually available only to people with shedloads of money.

We've since seen the democratisation of art. Things which were previously only available to a privileged few are now open to us all. That makes art a little harder to spot. It doesn't always come in a fancy frame these days.

The second problem is that artists have started to expand the definition of what is art. Andy Warhol gave us a picture of Campbell's tomato soup. He is asking us "is this art?" Can something as commonplace as a tin of soup be called art because the artist has put a frame around it?

I have to say that the jury is still out on that one. Some people "get" Warhol's tomato soup and Damian Hirst's shark. Again, I don't think that's a case of right and wrong. It's just that we are in the middle of a shift in definition. It's probably not surprising that we are a bit confused.

The third problem is that we are confusing the medium of our activities with its artistic qualities. You can't say that all painting is art because the bloke who painted my kitchen is a craftsman and not an artist.

In the same way we cannot say that all writing is definitely art. When we write a shopping list, that isn't art. At least it isn't unless we put a frame round it and stick it in a gallery.

Most folks would probably agree that non-fiction isn't art. For those who disagee, that's fine. It's a fuzzy definition that is changing all the time.

For some people, art needs to be highbrow. For others, it's any creative act. I don't see that there is a right and wrong or a definitive argument either way. It's just a case of language and perspective shifting.

And we are right in the middle of that change.

Kerosene
05-13-2012, 12:11 PM
*Pulls pin, throws*

Art is in of itself useless. Art cannot have a purpose other than itself as a singular existence.

Thus writing isn't art.
Thus writers aren't artists.


I believe we try to justify what we do as "art" because we're conforming to a established norm.
But the current "norm" of art is skewed. Artist want money for what they do, thus it's a job. If the art isn't useless of itself, it's not art.

I would say now, that Van Gogh never sold his art. But that's wrong, he sold one painting for equivalent of $1000 today. That was only one out of 2,100 works.

Point me to one writer who has never made money, never tried to make a point or moral, who never tried to make other people read his works. That man is an artist.

Anything short is pure self-justification and fabrication.


But that's my point. Only my opinion.

Filigree
05-13-2012, 12:53 PM
I respectfully disagree, Will. The idea of art being useless of itself is a relatively new concept, arising from the divide between 'fine' art and utilitarian art.

For most of humanity's explorations of art, art's purpose has been to ornament, santify, protect, or announce a tribal affiliation or ownership. I'd hardly call that useless.

Your examples continue to glorify the concept of the starving artist, who may or may not be corrupted by financial and social pressures.

I'll see your Van Gogh and raise you Henry Darger, whose outsider art was never seen during his lifetime. Is it good? I dunno, and I write smut for fun. Like Van Gogh, Darger probably *couldn't* have sold his controversial art during his lifetime. Darger, arguably as much or more messed-up than Van Gogh, kept his art to himself and never apparently tried. How much more could Darger or Van Gogh have produced, if they'd been appreciated while alive? We'll never know.

I can tell you from my small example that having artwork in museums and major university collections has made me *more* free and confident as an artist, and certainly a better artist in my commercial projects. I merely divide my artistic life into many, equally-valid portions. I'm a writer, commercial artist, and fine artist, and each mode has its rewards and challenges.

To blithely say that no artist driven by commercial pressures can be a 'real' artist is to deny the thousands of years of guild atelier educations, and the contributions of some very commercial-minded artists. We who take commissions strive to balance our inner drives with the needs of our clients, who may have no artistic skill of their own, and thus need our help to realize their dreams.

Kerosene
05-13-2012, 01:14 PM
I dunno, and I write smut for fun.

Story of our lives. :roll:

One thing I see is people trying to define themselves to a "title".

You see someone with anger problems. They go to a medical doctor and are labeled "Bipolar". Then they spat on to everyone how they are "bipolar"
Same thing with depression. Many psychologist disagree that depression actually exists. Statistically, 19 million Americans suffer from depression. My mother for one, says she is. All she does it take the anti-depressants that she's prescribed when she might feel sad or angry. Thus, she's purely creating a role around a title to self-induce herself into a better norm.

Titles help define ourselves. But it would seem that now, they just help other relate to ourselves. And with that, it's abused. The act of setting a title is as bad as people here (in AW) trying to find a sub-genre where their writing is set to. Deal with it people, it's called Fantasy not YA Fantasy. (Respectfully, there are YA Fantasy, but many aren't).

So given the above, defining ourselves as artists would further feed the "entitlement of titles" and coax ourselves deeper into a fashion of labels.

I for one, have a hard enough problem calling myself a "Aspiring Novelist". I don't want to be called the "Artist formally known as a Aspiring Novelist".

RichardGarfinkle
05-13-2012, 02:28 PM
*Pulls pin, throws*

Art is in of itself useless. Art cannot have a purpose other than itself as a singular existence.

Thus writing isn't art.
Thus writers aren't artists.


I believe we try to justify what we do as "art" because we're conforming to a established norm.
But the current "norm" of art is skewed. Artist want money for what they do, thus it's a job. If the art isn't useless of itself, it's not art.

I would say now, that Van Gogh never sold his art. But that's wrong, he sold one painting for equivalent of $1000 today. That was only one out of 2,100 works.

Point me to one writer who has never made money, never tried to make a point or moral, who never tried to make other people read his works. That man is an artist.

Anything short is pure self-justification and fabrication.


But that's my point. Only my opinion.

Okay, so the Sistine Chapel ceiling, statues of gods and saints, and indeed all sacred art is not art because they have a specific purpose?

Portraiture cannot be art because it has the purpose of creating a reminder of the person portrayed?

How much of the collection of an average art museum do we need to throw out to fit your definition?

Alessandra Kelley
05-13-2012, 02:58 PM
*Pulls pin, throws*

Art is in of itself useless. Art cannot have a purpose other than itself as a singular existence.

Thus writing isn't art.
Thus writers aren't artists.


I believe we try to justify what we do as "art" because we're conforming to a established norm.
But the current "norm" of art is skewed. Artist want money for what they do, thus it's a job. If the art isn't useless of itself, it's not art.

I would say now, that Van Gogh never sold his art. But that's wrong, he sold one painting for equivalent of $1000 today. That was only one out of 2,100 works.

Point me to one writer who has never made money, never tried to make a point or moral, who never tried to make other people read his works. That man is an artist.

Anything short is pure self-justification and fabrication.


But that's my point. Only my opinion.

Sorry. I don't agree.

The Victorians had a fetish for "art for art's sake" and a cult of empty "beauty" which has regrettably infected subsequent art criticism.

But that doesn't mean art is useless, nor that it cannot itself have a purpose except to be itself, popular though that stance may be in certain parts of the art world.

Lots of art has meaning and purpose. Every nativity scene, every landscape full of a saint's deeds, every rendering of an angel touching the earthly, every religious painting of the Middle Ages and Renaissance has meaning and purpose and ideas to communicate. The Pre-Raphaelites' work is chock full of religious and social allegory. Picasso's "Guernica" (http://www.pablopicasso.org/images/paintings/guernica.jpg) is a passionate cry against the fascist Spanish bombing of the defenseless civilian town of Guernica.

And where on earth did you get the idea that artists wanting money for what they do makes it not art? Van Gogh wanted money; it's nearly all he ever wrote his brother about. Rembrandt struggled his whole life to be paid. Every single one of the Renaissance religious paintings was carefully contracted, delineated, then painted and paid for. Picasso himself was flint-eyed about being paid. Every kid in art school hopes to make a living from art one way or another.

Terry Pratchett says it well in Soul Music, where he has a musician, quite an accomplished one, say "What every true artist wants, really wants, is to be paid."

Only in the last century or so, and only in a few quarters of the art world, are artists encouraged to glower and brag with each other about the purity and unmarketbility of their art while they slowly starve.

And frankly, I wonder if it wasn't partly a scheme to separate artists from business practicality so they can be more efficiently exploited.

Once!
05-13-2012, 03:02 PM
"Art is of itself useless" - says who?

Something is art if we say it is. Just as the only difference between a flower and a weed is perception. One man's freedom fighter is another man's terrorist.

The generally accepted definition of art is that it has aesthetics and/or creativity and that it may also have a function. I have never seen a definition which says that art cannot have a function.

Sitting on my desk in front of me is a stapler. It's a plain black stapler bought from a shop. Nothing special, nothing exciting. Not art.

But I could take that stapler and decorate it. Use brightly coloured paint to give it a canal art theme, perhaps. Then it would be art ... and it would still staple paper together.

Or look at it another way. Just about every piece of art does something as well as looking pretty. Religious art glorifies a god or gods. Shakespeare's tragedies make us feel sorry for someone. A poem or painting transmits emotions to the reader/viewer.

So the idea that art has to be useless ... nope, can't see that one at all. Not proven. Not even close.

But I wouldn't say that all writing is art or that all writers are artists. As I look across my desk I can see Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel. Yup, that's art as far as I am concerned. But I can also see an investment update written by a bank. And while it has a pretty cover (a stylised picture of flowers inspired by the Chelsea Flower Show, if you must know), the written contents are factual and not art:



The past six months has been a period of two halves. Market turbulence and risk aversion continued throughout the latter part of 2011 on fears over a financial meltdown in the Eurozone and a weakening global economy.


Is that art? For that matter, is it grammatically correct?

So I think it boils down to three principles.

Not art = useful but not aesthetic/ creative

Art = aesthetic/ creative, whether it's useful or not.

shadowwalker
05-13-2012, 06:25 PM
Artist want money for what they do, thus it's a job. If the art isn't useless of itself, it's not art.

I would say now, that Van Gogh never sold his art. But that's wrong, he sold one painting for equivalent of $1000 today. That was only one out of 2,100 works.

Point me to one writer who has never made money, never tried to make a point or moral, who never tried to make other people read his works. That man is an artist.

Anything short is pure self-justification and fabrication.


But that's my point. Only my opinion.

I'm confused. So... Michelangelo wasn't an artist because he took commissions? :Wha:

Ken
05-13-2012, 06:35 PM
... if you're pretentious, you call yourself an artistÚ.

REMLIG
05-13-2012, 09:54 PM
Art is anything that provokes thoughts and emotions.

finnisempty
05-14-2012, 03:34 PM
Of course I consider writers artists. I'm just reluctant to call myself a writer or even an artist.

folkchick
05-14-2012, 04:06 PM
If you went for a degree in writing, the end result would be a Bachelor or Master of Fine Arts.

I would consider someone like Carson McCullers to have been an artist. She dedicated her life to not only writing, but fine-tuning and perfecting her voice and style. She lived and died by her art. Thus I would call her an 'artist.'

robiiehood
05-20-2012, 12:13 PM
writers are absolutely artists!

Ken
05-20-2012, 06:01 PM
I would consider someone like Carson McCullers to have been an artist. She dedicated her life to not only writing, but fine-tuning and perfecting her voice and style. She lived and died by her art. Thus I would call her an 'artist.'

... one thing is clear. McCullers was an awesome novelist. One of the few great modern ones, imo.

NeuroFizz
05-20-2012, 06:54 PM
Writing is an intellectually creative activity. So is scientific experimentation. In the latter, the goal is to discover something new, and it requires just as much intellectual creativity as writing a novel. The investigator has to come up with new and unique ways to test an hypothesis, and that requires developing new, or adapting existing methodology to the particular experimental preparation. It also requires on-the-fly adjustments to both methodology and, depending on the data, to the hypothesis. This is going where no one has gone before. So is that art? Is it artistic?

When writing a novel, I never give a thought to this question. Same when doing the science. That's because I think this kind of self-labeling is fruitless and frequently self-serving. I'm happy knowing that what I'm doing is creative--that I am using my unique creativity to do something that no one has done, and that it may be appreciated by others (both in fiction writing and scientific experimentation).

When someone says writing fiction is art but writing non-fiction isn't art, that person has created a selective club of convenience that is very self-serving. I have no time for making those kinds of distinctions. Defining art is subjective, it tends to be philosophical, and it seems to me to be very personal. And the minute people start making rules on what should and shouldn't be art, I want nothing to do with it all because it smacks of forming elitist clubs (someone mentioned upstream about cheapening the term "artist").

Someone also mentioned a surgeon. Anyone who has seen the insides of human bodies knows that arteries and veins are not in exactly the same place in every human--they branch in different areas, and may have different numbers of branches. The same variability is seen in other internal structures. So, when a surgeon opens a body, we had better hope that surgeon is an extremely creative person.

So does the use of intellectual creativity make that person an artist? I don't care. I can say these people are artistic in what they do. But I feel no need to pin a specific label on them and then separate them out into bins of artist and non-artist.

Do I call myself a writer? Yes. I write fiction and poetry, and I've published some of my stories and poems, and a whole lot of scientific work. Do I consider myself an artist? I don't think about it because I think this is one label that should not be subject to self-annointing. Is my work artistic? That's for others to decide.

If is makes you feel better about yourself to call yourself an artist? Go for it. If it gives your Mom the warm-and-fuzzies to say her child is an artist, great. But I just want to develop my intellectual creativity to best of my abilities, to continually strive to improve and be innovative. I'll let others decide about its impact in the more philosophical sense.


And...in reference to the Masters of Fine Arts degree - I have a Doctor of Philosophy degree. I don't know a hell of a lot about the field of Philosophy because that Ph.D. is in Biology.These are academic labels that are largely historical and based on the division of a university into units of common interests called colleges and schools (College of Fine Arts, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, etc.)

Maze Runner
05-20-2012, 07:29 PM
What is the function of art? To imitate life, to reflect life so that we can better understand ourselves? To illuminate life? To touch us, to remind us what's important in life? Art at the same time resonates life and reminds us that we will die. I'm comfortable with these, and I'm having difficulty thinking of any of the so called arts that do this more thoroughly than does literature or film. I'm a big music lover. Nothin' hits you in the gut like music does. It's instantaneous. But it is also much more limited in its scope than a two hour movie or a three hundred page novel. This becomes a complicated question when we start thinking of all the novels, the stories that to us are garbage and therefore are not art. In fact though, that is a signal that we do think of stories as art and are offended by something that we feel makes a travesty of its possibilities.

I remember reading where John Lennon was a big Andy Warhol fan, because he was the first "artist" to paint around the photograph of a coke can or whatever and say, Yeah, this is art, 'cause I fuckin' say it is art! Not a big Warhol fan, but I understand the idea that Lennon was conveying, that it is subjective to an extent. Maybe Lennon's answer to that coke can was Revolution # 9. I like John Lennon's music, but you'd have to strap me into my chair to get me to listen to the totality of that noise.

Sarashay
05-20-2012, 08:07 PM
The notion that only certain people are allowed to bear the sacred title of "Artist" is one that I've very much like to see pass into obsolescence. Those who complain that there is too much art or too much music or that there are too many books might as well be saying to me that there is too much beauty and pleasure in the world and that people need to shut up and stop expressing themselves so much in front of the neighbors.

folkchick
05-20-2012, 08:30 PM
Revolution #9 cracks me up when I hear it. There's something I find so appealing in the repeated sounds of life; of cheering, yelling, primal screams, Yoko yodeling, static noise, and of course, "Number 9, number 9, number 9 . . ." A lot of avant garde work gives me a slight euphoria, because I know the artist was trying to take the mundane and show it as being gigantic.

A lot of writers are able to do that as well. We capture every day and twist it into something chewable and fantastic, or we parallel earth with a subterranean universe of kings and sex and boobies.

Maze Runner
05-20-2012, 08:52 PM
Revolution #9 cracks me up when I hear it. There's something I find so appealing in the repeated sounds of life; of cheering, yelling, primal screams, Yoko yodeling, static noise, and of course, "Number 9, number 9, number 9 . . ." A lot of avant garde work gives me a slight euphoria, because I know the artist was trying to take the mundane and show it as being gigantic.

A lot of writers are able to do that as well. We capture every day and twist it into something chewable and fantastic, or we parallel earth with a subterranean universe of kings and sex and boobies.

No, I hear you. Tell ya the truth, I don't think I've ever sat through the entire, what is it? 6 or 7 minutes?! John was an interesting guy. A good guy basically, with so much humor and warmth in him. But he had, (don't we all?) a dark side as well. And he, like McCartney, had a lot of drive in him, ego? Harrison's "All Things Must Pass" is such a landmark album because it consists mostly if not all of songs that he was UNable to get onto a Beatle record. Poor guy, had to sit through #9 and think, 'What?! And not My Sweet Lord?!'

folkchick
05-20-2012, 10:10 PM
Yeah, I do feel like George got the shaft too often. If you listen to some of his early songs, even back on the first album (had Love Me Do on it), his song "Don't Bother Me" was quite sophisticated, IMO. I Love "All Things Must Pass." One of my favorite albums.

Maze Runner
05-20-2012, 10:43 PM
Yeah, I do feel like George got the shaft too often. If you listen to some of his early songs, even back on the first album (had Love Me Do on it), his song "Don't Bother Me" was quite sophisticated, IMO. I Love "All Things Must Pass." One of my favorite albums.

Just noticed your tag line- "We all shine on"- you must be a big Beatle fan. Me too.

George was the kid brother, right? Easy to pat on the back and send out for coffee. Probably the best guitarist of the three- though Paul played a great bass- his lines had a melody all their own, took a lot of his notes, so to speak, from the Motown stuff.

"Don't Bother Me", I love that one! He really came into his own as a songwriter, around the Revolver period- "Taxman", "I Want to Tell You"- I know I'm taking this thread wa-ay off course now but, one of my favorite Harrison songs was, "What is Life?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uVnKjv4fK0

folkchick
05-20-2012, 10:53 PM
WIL is a pretty song. La, la, la la, la . . . Our problems are our own creations, they also can be overcome . . . He was so wise. His son Dhani looks just like him. He recently put out an app that has all of George's guitars, with information and pictures.

I thought his songs in The Traveling Willburys were great. Devil's Been Busy is a great song. You're right about him being the 'little brother' type in The Beatles. There's an old video of them stuck in a hotel room, and George says something sarcastic about not getting his songs on any of the records with Paul looking extremely tense about it.

Anyway- major thread derail here! But it's fun : )

Maze Runner
05-20-2012, 11:01 PM
WIL is a pretty song. La, la, la la, la . . . Our problems are our own creations, they also can be overcome . . . He was so wise. His son Dhani looks just like him. He recently put out an app that has all of George's guitars, with information and pictures.

I thought his songs in The Traveling Willburys were great. Devil's Been Busy is a great song. You're right about him being the 'little brother' type in The Beatles. There's an old video of them stuck in a hotel room, and George says something sarcastic about not getting his songs on any of the records with Paul looking extremely tense about it.

Anyway- major thread derail here! But it's fun : )

Yeah, I read where George said something about writing what he thought was a great song, being so excited about it, rushing into the studio anxious to show it to the boys, and then finding that he was up against the McCartney ego again. All three great, and Ringo played the perfect kind of soft, unobtrusive drums for that band. "Always played with the singer," is what McCartney said.

robiiehood
05-21-2012, 03:03 AM
writers are absolutely artists! and perhaps more starving than traditional artists. I've sold more paintings than books, though I hope that isn't always the case. :)

CJ.Wolfe
05-23-2012, 11:18 AM
I absolutely do believe that writing is a form of art. And I get very frustrated when other forms of art (painter's and singers and such) don't give writer's that credit. It's also frustrating to see a 'School of Arts' and see they have no literary/writing areas. 'Performing Arts' as some schools are called would be more accurate for that. But I've often felt frustrated that Authors don't get as much credit for being 'artists' outside of the writing community. Or maybe its just me :P